Aamir Khan's Dangal is the gift that keeps on giving - Rs 385 crore at home, hundreds more from China and Hong Kong - so it's unexpected, to say the least, to hear him dismiss box office collections in no uncertain terms. Speaking exclusively to NDTV, Aamir, 52, said that he doesn't make films with the 100 crore goalpost in mind and that numbers are irrelevant in the long run. Bollywood pundits might vociferously disagree here, and for what it's worth, box office records will likely remember Aamir Khan and his last two films Dangal and PK for a fond eternity. An Aamir Khan film has become something of a celestial event, occurring once a year or sometimes two, accompanied by tremendous reviews and eye-popping ticket sales.
- Box office not relevant in the long run: Aamir
- As a producer, Aamir 'screen tests' new directors he works with
- "I switch off from people when I am making a film," he added
Aamir Khan And The Box Office
But Aamir Khan wears this honour lightly. "Making 100 crore was never my aim. There is a difference between quantity and quality. I want quality feedback from the audience even if it means fewer people have seen the film and like it," he told NDTV.
Ultimately, it is the film that is remembered, if worth remembering, and not it's profit margins, Aamir said citing two iconic examples: "No one remembers how much Pyaasa and Sholay made. So, how is box office relevant in the long run?"
Aamir Khan And His Directors
In a career spanning over 29 years, Aamir has worked with some of the best directors of all time. His launch vehicle, 1988's Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, was directed by cousin Mansoor Khan who later made Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. Mahesh Bhatt directed him in Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Rajkumar Santoshi in Andaz Apna Apna, Ashutosh Gowariker in Lagaan and Rajkumar Hirani in 3 Idiots and PK.
"It's very important for me to trust the director," Aamir told NDTV. Speaking as a producer - he has produced both Dangal and upcoming film Secret Superstar - Aamir explained that he 'screen tests' first-time directors like Secret Superstar's Advait Chandan by assigning them a few scenes to film and edit. "I look for the fire in the belly," he said.
Aamir Khan's Process
Aamir Khan's celebrated pursuit of perfection and attention to detail in his films is spoken of as reverently as the layered performances he delivers, most notably as a pot-bellied middle-aged former wrestler in Dangal. Not for nothing has Aamir earned the sobriquet of Mr Perfectionist. The secret is to disconnect. "I switch off from people when I am making a film. It's possible even in today's day and age," he told NDTV.
Aamir Khan And Empowerment
Dangal, the true story of how a Haryanvi wrestler defied disapproval of his village to train his daughters in his sport, was also feted for its theme of empowerment. "When it comes to empowering women, India has come a long way. We have moved in the right direction. We are a very big country and not a very old country, so if you see all the aspects we are doing good and moving correct is what I feel," Aamir Khan told NDTV.
"We will keep telling stories like Dangal, 3 Idiots, Taare Zameen Par and now Secret Superstar. There is a lot more to do, no doubt. A lot more to achieve, yes, but it's good when you are going in the correct direction," he added.
Aamir Khan is currently promoting Secret Superstar, a film produced by him. He also has a small but pivotal role in the film headlined by his Dangal co-star Zaira Wasim. In Secret Superstar, Aamir plays a music composer who inspires and helps Zaira's character to achieve her dreams of becoming a singing sensation. The film releases this Diwali. Aamir Khan's next leading role will be in 2018's most-awaited film Thugs Of Hindostan, also starring Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif.